The benefits of shopping local this holiday season

How you can score some unique gifts and keep your money in your community.

Posted: Nov 21, 2019 5:30 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Thanksgiving is one week away. That also means the start of the holiday shopping season. As you start to check items off your list, those with the Rochester Downtown Alliance are urging you to shop local.

Joe and Renee Kruml are visiting Rochester from the Des Moines area. While they waited for their appointment at Mayo Clinic, they decided to do a little shopping at the Shops at University Square.

"There's so many unique shops and unique things to buy. Especially right before christmas. we're getting so many neat ideas," Renee Kruml said.

When it comes to shopping local, you have a lot of options. In the Rochester Downtown District, there are more than 200 small businesses. That includes The Nordic Shop. Owner Walter Hanson said shopping small makes a big difference.

"Local stores are kind of the backbone of all of our communities. There's more business done by small business than by big business. And most of the money that's spent in local stores stays locally," Hanson said.

"For every $100 that is spent, $68 of that is kept local. So it's a huge investment back into the community. That's compared to like in the $40 range for a national chain," said Katie Adelman, Director of Content and Communications for the Rochester Downtown Alliance.

But that's not the only reason to shop local.

"There are actually a variety of reasons but I think one of the biggest things is you get that personal connection. These people are your neighbors, they could be friends. But it's just really important to get that sense of community," Adelman said.

Whether they're in Rochester, or back at home in Iowa, the Krumls make it a priority to support small businesses.

"We think it's really important because when those stores are gone, they're going to be gone. I don't really do online shopping. If I can get in the store, I'll go to the store. Even if I have to pay a little bit more for it, because I want that store to be there the next time I need something," Renee Kruml said.

For a list of local stores participating in Small Business Saturday, click here:

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